27 November, 2013

Farsight, with clockwork regularity,

When I start despairing that I don't have any interesting new entry to the blog, Farsight comes along to help. By now it has become customary to have two new tables every month or so. This time we have two quite different games. Eldorado 

has an incredibly chaotic table, where the ball is practically invisible most of the time. Add to this an excessive speed and the easiness with which the ball drains and you have a most unplayable game.

On the other hand, Cue Ball Wizard

is a very pleasant game. It has some unique features like an oscillating captive ball and a captive cue-ball. The latter can hit two targets which are unreachable otherwise. The flippers can be raised at an angle that suffices to stop even a fast ball and thus greatly facilitates the game. If only Farsight had a more visible ball …

16 November, 2013

Waiting for Timeshock

Since we'll be waiting for quite some time for Timeshock I decided to hunt for other pinballs. My criteria are simple. I focus on freeware: somehow I am reluctant to pay for a pinball that has a non-zero probability to be below par. Also I look for nice graphics: if the developer did not understand that playing pinball must also be a visual pleasure then certainly his game is not worth the effort of trying. Of course graphics alone do not suffice (remember the totally crappy game with the pretentious name of Pinball-HD?) 

Looking around I found a game called iPinballs (another pretentious title). It is presented as if it is going to be a collection of games. For the time being only one does exists: Gangster. 

It is a not bad game: nice graphics, quite acceptable physics and the ball does not drain too easily. The only problem is that it is a one-ball game: if you wish to play longer you must purchase balls. I do not see many people doing this: I, for one, am not going to spend a a single cent.

13 November, 2013

Timeshock will be delayed :-((

Adrian Merritt just sent a mail with some very nice renders of the Timeshock table

but also with some not so good news.

Here's is an excerpt of his mail

… having produced some of the final very high resolution renders (2200 x 2560) it has become clear that we're going to need significantly more time and/or rendering power than we had anticipated to render everything to the highest of standards. 

I'm very sorry to say that this means it is highly unlikely we'll be able to release the game in December as we'd hoped. We've already purchased some additional hardware to speed up the rendering, but we need to do much more, so we're going to be bringing a load of powerful cloud based servers into play too.

I appreciate this must be disappointing news, but hopefully a few more months wait will be tolerable, given that it has been well over a decade since the original game came out.

I guess we'll have to contend ourselves with existing pinballs till then.

05 November, 2013

Trying other pinballs while we wait for Timeshock

It seems like we have to wait a little bit more before the alpha version of Timeshock becomes available. Thus, I decided in the mean time to try some pinballs from the iTunes store. Given the mediocrity of most pinballs available I decided that I was not going to spend any money and so only free pinballs made the cut. I tried a few and in most cases there was nothing to write home about. The only pinball that I found a little bit (but not more than that) to my liking was Tough Nuts. It’s a two table pinball, Fire Reaper

which I hated (only a vicious person would put draining slots on the lateral alleys) and Mafia

which I did like. The graphics of both tables are excellent and the physics simulation not bad. 

What I did not like at all was the fact that after losing a ball you could continue playing by inserting coins. For me this kind of tricks are a clear indication that the developer is there for the money and not because they are pinball fans. (That said, I am perfectly aware that people must make a living and that in-app purchases are a way to recoup the development costs).